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A Tale of Two Cities

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The turnkey stopped at a low door, put a key in a clashing lock, swung the door slowly open, and said, as they all bent their heads and passed in: The guard stopped at a low door, put a key into the lock, and slowly swung the door open. As they all bent down and walked inside, he said:
“One hundred and five, North Tower!” “One hundred and five, North Tower!
There was a small, heavily-grated, unglazed window high in the wall, with a stone screen before it, so that the sky could be only seen by stooping low and looking up. There was a small chimney, heavily barred across, a few feet within. There was a heap of old feathery wood-ashes on the hearth. There was a stool, and table, and a straw bed. There were the four blackened walls, and a rusted iron ring in one of them. There was a small window high up in the wall. There was no windowpane in it, and it had a heavy grate over it. There was a stone screen in front of it, so that the sky could only be seen by stooping over and looking up. There was a small chimney a few feet inside with heavy bars across it. There was a pile of old wood ashes on the hearth, and there was a stool, a table, and a straw bed. There were four blackened walls, and a rusted iron ring in one of them.
“Pass that torch slowly along these walls, that I may see them,” said Defarge to the turnkey. “Move your torch slowly over these walls so that I can see them,” Defarge told the guard.
The man obeyed, and Defarge followed the light closely with his eyes. The man obeyed, and Defarge looked at the wall carefully as the light passed over it.
“Stop! —Look here, Jacques!” “Stop! Look here, Jacques!”
“A. M.!” croaked Jacques Three, as he read greedily. “A. M.!” said Jacques Three, reading greedily.
“Alexandre Manette,” said Defarge in his ear, following the letters with his swart forefinger, deeply engrained with gunpowder. “And here he wrote ‘a poor physician.’ And it was he, without doubt, who scratched a calendar on this stone. What is that in your hand? A crowbar? Give it me!” “Alexandre Manette,” said Defarge. He traced the letters with his finger, which was covered in gunpowder. “And here he wrote ‘a poor physician.’ And I’m sure he was the one who scratched this calendar on this stone. What is that in your hand? A crowbar? Give it to me!”
He had still the linstock of his gun in his own hand. He made a sudden exchange of the two instruments, and turning on the worm-eaten stool and table, beat them to pieces in a few blows. He still had the

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a long staff designed to hold a lit match and used to fire cannons

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of his cannon in his hand. He traded the gun for the man’s crowbar, turned to the worm-eaten stool and table, and smashed them to pieces.
“Hold the light higher!” he said, wrathfully, to the turnkey. “Look among those fragments with care, Jacques. And see! Here is my knife,” throwing it to him; “rip open that bed, and search the straw. Hold the light higher, you!” “Hold the torch higher!” he said to the guard angrily. “Look through those pieces carefully, Jacques. And look! Here is my knife.” He threw the knife to him. “Rip open the bed and look through the straw. Hold the torch higher, you!”
With a menacing look at the turnkey he crawled upon the hearth, and, peering up the chimney, struck and prised at its sides with the crowbar, and worked at the iron grating across it. In a few minutes, some mortar and dust came dropping down, which he averted his face to avoid; and in it, and in the old wood-ashes, and in a crevice in the chimney into which his weapon had slipped or wrought itself, he groped with a cautious touch. Looking angrily at the guard, he crawled to the hearth. Peering up the chimney, he poked and prodded at its sides with the crowbar and examined the iron grating across it. In a few minutes, some mortar and dust fell down. He turned his face away to avoid it and groped carefully in the chimney, in the old wood ashes, and into chink in the chimney that his crowbar had slipped into.
“Nothing in the wood, and nothing in the straw, Jacques?” “Nothing in the wood, and nothing in the straw, Jacques?”
“Nothing.” “Nothing.”
“Let us collect them together, in the middle of the cell. So! Light them, you!” “Let’s gather all of it in the middle of the cell. Light them, you!” he said to the guard.
The turnkey fired the little pile, which blazed high and hot. Stooping again to come out at the low-arched door, they left it burning, and retraced their way to the courtyard; seeming to recover their sense of hearing as they came down, until they were in the raging flood once more. The guard set the little pile on fire, and it blazed high and hot. They bent over again to come through the low-arched door, leaving the pile burning behind them, and went back the way they came to the courtyard. It seemed their hearing returned as they came down, until they were in the middle of the raging crowd again.
They found it surging and tossing, in quest of Defarge himself. Saint Antoine was clamorous to have its wine-shop keeper foremost in the guard upon the governor who had defended the Bastille and shot the people. Otherwise, the governor would not be marched to the Hotel de Ville for judgment. Otherwise, the governor would escape, and the people’s blood (suddenly of some value, after many years of worthlessness) be unavenged. The crowd was in a frenzy looking for Defarge himself. The people of Saint Antoine wanted their wine-shop keeper in the front of the group and guarding the governor, who had defended the Bastille and shot people. Otherwise, the governor would not be taken to the Hotel de Ville for judgment. Otherwise he might escape and the people would not get revenge on their spilled blood, which had been worthless for so many years but suddenly had value.

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